Tag Archives: apartheid Israel

Obama: Shoulder to Shoulder with an Apartheid State

Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Ari Zoldan)

Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Ari Zoldan)

THE HEAD of the U.S. empire paid a three-day visit to the praetorian guard of the Middle East oil lake that concluded March 22. President Obama’s trip to Israel aimed to shore up anxious vassals and reassert U.S. political and military hegemony in a region in the midst of revolutionary turmoil and economic instability.

On both fronts, he appears to have succeeded, for now.

News of President Obama’s much-heralded visit has focused on two events: his speech in Jerusalem and the phone call he choreographed between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As is usually the case with acts of diplomacy, Obama’s speech and telephone rapprochement were filled with unctuous platitudes to mask the crude reality.

His Jerusalem speech intertwined the Zionist fable of a national liberation movement for Jews that never was with the African American civil rights struggle, using rhetorical flourishes best described as Obamaesque. He said:

As Dr. Martin Luther King said on the day before he was killed–“I may not get there with you. But I want you to know that…we, as a people, will get to the promised land…” And while Jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its full expression in the Zionist idea–to be a free people in your homeland.

Like every U.S. president since Truman, Obama depicts Israel as an expression of the democratic yearnings of an oppressed people, as opposed to being an imperial manipulation of historical crimes against the Jewish people to justify a colonial-settler state on Palestinian land. Israel is a nation that’s come to serve as an outpost for U.S. imperial interests in the region.

No doubt, Obama glimpsed the 25-foot-high, 450-mile-long apartheid wall that has been condemned as illegal in the International Court of Justice. He knows of the growing civil disobedience against Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the broadening resistance to the indefinite detention of Palestinians such as Samer Issawi, now on hunger strike more than 245 days.

Even the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is getting greater coverage than ever in the U.S. media, making it almost impossible for Obama to remain unaware of the rising Palestinian civil rights movement that the New York Times’ Ben Ehrenreich suggests is a possible “third intifada.”

It’s quite likely Obama’s awareness of all these factors compelled him to reference Palestinian suffering and aspirations in his speech–if only to give a nod toward a crisis he has no intention of resolving. After all, if Obama were intent on actually doingsomething, then millions of American taxpayer dollars that help finance the expanding illegal Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank would dry up.

Weapons sales and high-tech deals between the U.S. and Israel would be placed on hold. Obama would demand an immediate end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, a blockade of goods enforced since 2009. Netanyahu’s new hard-right cabinet filled with open racists and opponents of any Palestinian state would have been challenged. Yet none of these actions were even considered.

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WHEN IT comes to Obama in Israel, as at home, it’s crucial to follow the money and the weapons, not the words.

Though in all truth, even the words betray a policy of continued full-throated support for Israel. When Obama insists “Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state” as the starting point for negotiations, he is essentially demanding that Palestinians concede ongoing occupation by an ethnocracy and the implicit apartheid regime of laws that comes with it. As with past presidents, Obama calls for Palestinians to embrace their own dispossession as the entry point to “peace talks.”

The phone call Obama arranged between Netanyahu and Turkey’s Erdogan was an effort to confront the central geostrategic issues hanging over the entire visit. Containing Syria’s ongoing revolution and stanching Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons development were central to this diplomatic mission.

On the surface, the call was about Netanyahu apologizing to Erdogan for a raid by Israeli commandos on an unarmed Turkish humanitarian flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, that killed nine activists on board the ship in the middle of the night in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010.

The three-way call established that Israel will pay reparations to the families of the dead and Turkey will cease legal actions against Israel for the cold-blooded murders of the nine.

As the Palestinian member of Israel’s Knesset, Hanin Zoabi, who was on the Mavi Marmara, countered: “The issue is not only Marmara; Marmara was the small crime. The big crime was the siege on Gaza.”

Whatever words were uttered about easing the years-long blockade of Gaza, little is likely to change on that front so long as Israel controls the flow of goods, resources and people in and out of Gaza. But the real point of the call was for Obama to formally reconcile two of his most important and comparatively stable allies in the region. Containing the two regional powers, Iran and Syria, is far more difficult without unity between Israel and Turkey.

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AND OBAMA needs a beefed-up guardian in the Middle East gateway to Asian expansion westward as part of his overarching mission to push back China, too.

It’s become clear to both the U.S. and Israeli administrations that their longtime ally in Syria, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, can no longer hang on to power in the face of a popular uprising, which began as a revolutionary upheaval and now appears to have become a civil war that’s killed at least 70,000.

Even before Obama landed in Tel Aviv, Israeli and U.S. warmongers were peddling unconfirmed reports of chemical weapons being used in Syria in order to pressure the Obama administration to approve direct U.S. military involvement there. Turkey, Israel and the U.S. had already been working behind the scenes to select a Syrian-born American, information technology executive Ghassan Hitto, to be the first “prime minister of an interim Syrian government” elected by the unrepresentative, Western-backed Syrian National Council.

As for Iran, Israel would prefer a direct hit against Tehran for its supposed development of nuclear weapons, but the U.S. imposition of deadly sanctions on that country will do for now. And diplomacy is quickly jettisoned when the U.S. and Israel collude in illegal targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, as they did in early January 2013.

While some may see hope in Obama’s soothing words for Palestinians and others seeking justice in the region, such hopes in Obama are misplaced. The relationship between the U.S. and Israel must remain sacrosanct. They need each other desperately now, as even Muslim Brotherhood allies over the border in Egypt are facing broadening opposition from strikes and protests.

In a dangerous world with shifting alliances, military and economic competition and depression, the U.S. empire needs its loyal Israeli vassal more than ever.

Antiracists for Apartheid?

NO AMOUNT of clever advertising hucksterism can change the fact that if public opinion regarding Israel were a bond, it could be downgraded to junk status.

The Jerusalem Post reported in May that of the more than 24,000 people polled by the BBC in 22 countries around the world, citizens of 17 of those nations hold mostly negative views of Israel, on par with opinions of North Korea. Not just majority Muslim countries like Israel’s rebellious neighbor Egypt, where 85 percent hold negative views, but 74 percent of Spaniards, 65 percent of the French and 68 percent of the British regard Israel in a negative light, especially due to its foreign policies.

Not surprisingly, here in the U.S., 50 percent of people hold a mostly positive view versus 35 percent who view Israel’s policies negatively, down 6 percent, according to BBC pollsters. Yet even here in the States, where debates about Israel’s apartheid policies toward the Palestinian population are far more censored than in Israel itself, much evidence points to the hollow nature of a significant portion of Israel’s support, including, if not especially, among Jews themselves.

For starters, there is the well-publicized New York Review of Books article by Peter Beinart in which he famously wrote, “For several decades, the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now, to their horror, they are finding that many young Jews have checked their Zionism instead.”

And there is Time magazine’s piece on “Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents’ View of Israel,” which cites these stats:

A 2007 poll by Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College and Ari Kelman of the University of California at Davis found that although the majority of American Jews of all ages continue to identify as “pro-Israel,” those under 35 are less likely to identify as “Zionist.” Over 40 percent of American Jews under 35 believe that “Israel occupies land belonging to someone else,” and over 30 percent report sometimes feeling “ashamed” of Israel’s actions.

Those of us who have been speaking on college campuses about Israel-Palestine for years have noted a striking shift. In the 1990s and earlier, the announcement of a forum even mildly critical of Israel garnered death threats from the Jewish Defense Organization, universities often required metal detectors and guards at our talks, and we were frequently disrupted by large numbers of confident Zionist students.

In one memorable episode at New York University, the campus Zionists marched in, carrying an Israeli flag and singing Israel’s national anthem “Hatikva” as I rose to speak. At Harvard, students got up and threateningly jeered that I was an anti-Semite; they only backed down when Howard Zinn stood and put his arm around my shoulder and said, “She and I are both Jews, and we refuse to be silenced by a mob.”

Those days are gone. Today, meetings that openly declare Israel an apartheid state and dissect the myths of Zionism are not only well-attended, but the Zionists are often cowed and only half-convinced of their own rhetoric, when they summon the nerve to speak at all. Among the latest victories of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel is the Church of England’s overwhelming vote to continue its aid to Palestinians, as well as the Presbyterian Church’s vote to boycott all products from Israeli colonial settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its call on all nations to “prohibit the import of products made by enterprises in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.”

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BUT THERE remains much work to be done among the broadening layer of Americans who are coming to consciousness in an era of revolutions, occupations and mass protest. They are participating in marches against the New Jim Crow and stop-and-frisk–yet they remain unschooled or unconvinced of Israel’s racist policies and colonialist practices.

A recent article by Occupy Wall Street activist Yotam Marom in Haaretz gives advice to Israel’s social protest movement, calling for “equity” and “self-determination”–but without any mention of the Palestinians who are also ignored by the youthful social protest movement there.

Occupy activists who’ve worked alongside Marom know him to be an antiracist, and his blind spot when it comes to crimes against the Palestinians is all too common among other progressives who have read critically about the world, yet, when it comes to Israel, often defend it without the vigor of historical analysis and ideas, contradicting so much of their world view. This is a precarious racism of antiracists.

In my encounters with growing numbers of these sincere social justice activists, the question of Israel is posed as if it concerns the right of an oppressed minority to have a state of their own–but that’s not what Israel is an expression of or ever was.

Zionism was never a national liberation movement, and Israel is not the outcome of a mass movement for a Jewish state. Israel is today and always was a colonial-settler state that ties its fortunes to world powers–it attempted to do so with the Ottoman Empire, then the Brits and finally the Americans. Israel exists on land that was stolen from the indigenous population, and Zionists aim to ethnically cleanse–in their words, “transfer”–the remaining native inhabitants, that is, the Palestinians.

Here’s how Vladimir Jabotinsky, a leading Zionist, posed it back in 1923:

Zionism is a colonizing adventure and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force. It is important to build, it is important to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot–or else I am through with playing at colonization.

More contemporary Zionist leaders have been quite explicit about their goals. Joseph Weitz headed up what was known as the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department (!!). Writing in the Labor newspaper Davar, which means work, in 1967, he declared:

Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this small country…We shall not achieve our goal of being an independent people with the Arabs in this small country. The only solution is Palestine without Arabs…And there is no other way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries; to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left.

Rather than the result of some 2,000-year-old yearning, Zionism is a modern movement that, as the late, great Palestinian scholar Edward Said reminds us, coincided with the period of unparalleled European territorial acquisition in Asia and Africa. Zionism never spoke of itself as a Jewish liberation movement, but rather as a Jewish movement for colonial settlement in the Middle East. As Said puts it: “Imperialism was the theory, colonialism the practice” of “civilizing” the Middle East–in the view of racist, middle-class European Jews.

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IT’S NOT the case that early Zionists didn’t know the land was inhabited–multiple diaries, articles and books attest to this fact. No, when Golda Meier, the Israeli prime minister from 1969-74, said about Israel: “To a people without a land, a land without a people,” it wasn’t necessarily literal. Zionists like her were well aware that Israel drove out nearly 800,000 Palestinians to form the state of Israel and then occupied the remaining Arabs who refused to leave. It was an expression of how Zionism has always accepted the generic racial concepts of European culture. Palestine was populated, in their view, with a backward people unworthy of the land. Unlike European missionaries, however, Zionists didn’t come to “civilize” the population, but to replace them and drive them out.

The Israeli trade union movement, the Histadrut, based itself on Jewish-only labor. In the name of building a strong Zionist labor force, its supporters smashed Arab produce in the markets, destroyed shops where Arab goods were sold, and forced employers to hire only Jews. It was and is racist to the core.

Even the mythology surrounding the kibbutzim is a deception–Israel’s work and living collectives were never some socialist utopian endeavor. They are Jewish-only, and their purpose was for settling new territory and guarding borders against dispossessed Arabs–not opening a road to Jewish socialism, if such a separatist notion were even desirable.

Lest anyone think those earlier quotes were anomalous or out-of-date, here is the chief Sapphardic rabbi in a letter to Israeli President Ehud Olmert about the 2009 rocket attacks on Gaza, as printed in the Jerusalem Post: “There is absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.”

His rabbi son went on to say: “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000, and if they do not stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop, we must kill 100,000, even 1 million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.”

This man, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who called for the killing of a million Palestinians, was just appointed the head of Israel’s Red Cross, known as the Magen David Adom.

These are the ravings of racists, defending the indefensible. No radicalizing antiracist can sustain for long these contradictory positions between racism at home and racism in Israel. They must pick a side and decide which one they’re on.

It is my honest assessment that in 20 years or so, people will look back on the defenders of apartheid Israel the way we now look back on Alabama’s most infamous racist sheriff, Bull Connor, who terrorized Blacks with dogs and fire hoses–as racists defending a supremacist order. And antiracists here must answer the question: Which side are you on?

Join me with Adalah-NY, Jewish Voices for Peace and others to protest outside the pension fund giant TIAA-CREF and demand they divest from companies doing business with apartheid Israel, Tues, July 17th from 1230–2:30pm, 730 3rd Ave, bet. 45th and 46th.

Equality’s Racism: Using LGBT Rights to Veil Apartheid

Imagine the magazine Good Housekeeping awarding the Texas Department of Corrections its seal of approval for the cleanliness of its death row — pristine conditions, though the seating’s a bit clunky!

There is something obscene about an organization devoted to equality planning to feature at its national summit a theocratic police state whose existence is founded on the expulsion and ongoing repression of its indigenous population.

Equality Forum, a nonprofit organization whose mission “is to advance national and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights through education,” is hosting Israel’s ambassador to the United States as their keynote speaker and featuring Israeli artists at their May conference in Philadelphia. Its celebration of Israel’s purported LGBT civil rights is truly an elaborate expression of totally missing the point.

Even the international human rights expert UN Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari condemns the policies of the Israeli state that systematically discriminates against its non-Jewish population: “the basic theocratic character of the Israeli legal system establishes ethnic criteria as the grounds for the enjoyment of full rights.” In other words, the oppression of 20 percent of Israel’s population who are Palestinian — LGBT and straight — as well as the dispossession of the millions who are virtually imprisoned behind hundreds of miles of militarized walls in the Occupied Territories, expose the lie of Israel’s supposed democracy.

Despite Israel’s ongoing defiance of international law in the service of its 64-year occupation of Palestine, its institutionalized brutalization and daily humiliation of its native population, Equality Forum is embracing a campaign by Israel’s marketers known as pinkwashing. According to Palestinian LGBT activists, “‘Pinkwashing’ is the appropriation of queer voices in order to shift focus from human rights and international law violations committed by the State of Israel, to an image of Israel as progressive, tolerant and ‘gay-friendly.'”

If Equality Forum goes ahead with this vile charade, they will not only play into the hands of those who wish to cleanse the crimes of Israel by extolling the virtues of having openly gay soldiers crack Palestinian heads, but they will make themselves the target of an international boycott campaign.

I wrote to Equality Forum’s director, Malcolm Lazin, as soon as I read of their selection of Israel as their “featured nation” this year. Mr. Lazin replied by listing Israel’s LGBT reforms, that in reality only fully exist for Jewish LGBT citizens, and he cited Tel Aviv’s status as “Best Gay City of 2011,” according to GayCities.com. He concluded, “Like the U.S. and other nations, Israel has not fully realized its promise of equality to all its citizens. These important issues and others are being debated under freedom of speech, press and assembly in Israel and elsewhere.”

I suppose “not fully realized its promise of equality,” could refer to the “apartheid regime” which “discriminates daily against Israeli Arabs and other minorities,” according to Jewish-Israeli politician, Roman Bronfman. Or it could be interpreted as “a political arrangement that limits democracy to a privileged class that keeps others behind military checkpoints, barbed-wire fences and separation walls,” as former head of the American Jewish Congress, Henry Seligman, puts it.

But that would surely be the most inexplicably polite way of describing a nation which has been under an official “state of emergency” since its founding in 1948. This allows for extra police powers in order to do things like arrest and detain hundreds of children, many as young as 12 years old, for throwing stones at tanks and armed soldiers, according to the Israeli human rights group B’tselem. Israel launches frequent bombing raids into the Gaza Strip, under the pretext of security — attacks punctuated by outright massacres, as in Operation Cast Lead in 2008–09, when more than 1,400 Gazans were murdered; whereas 13 Israelis died, mostly soldiers, 4 from friendly fire.

It is a sad reflection of the primitive consciousness of a swath of the LGBT movement that the Equality Forum would justify highlighting Israel’s LGBT rights despite growing international exposure of that nation’s racist policies, including from LGBT voices within Palestine.

As Palestinian LGBT activist Haneen Maikey explains, “It doesn’t matter what the sexual orientation of the soldier at a checkpoint is, whether he can serve openly or not. What matters is that he’s there at all.” Sami Shamali, also a member of the Palestinian LGBT group, Al Qaws, agreed, “the apartheid wall was not created to keep Palestinian homophobes out of Gay Israel, and there is no magic door for gay Palestinians to pass through.”

A recent delegation of LGBT activists, artists and cultural workers from the United States traveled to Israel-Palestine and published a poignantly detailed eyewitness account of their trip in an open letter. To the great credit of this delegation, they rise above the aggressively narrow viewpoint lauded by Equality Forum, which appears to judge human rights through the lens of sexuality issues alone.

In one sentence they skewer the implicit racism and colonial mindset behind pinkwashing’s attempt to shine a light on LGBT rights in Israel versus the homophobia of some Arab societies. They write, “It is our view that comparisons of this sort are both inaccurate — homophobia and transphobia are to be found throughout Palestinian and Israeli society – and that this is beside the point: Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine cannot be somehow justified or excused by its purportedly tolerant treatment of some sectors of its own population.”

Bravo to the sisters and brothers who penned these words!

In Malcolm Lazin’s e-mail to me, he noted that there is a healthy debate about these policies in Israel and elsewhere. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Equality Forum’s own program, in fact, makes no mention of the devastated lives of Palestinians, queer and straight, and, not surprisingly, there is no Palestinian speaker on the program to expose these harsh truths.

I believe the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to expose and punish Israel’s criminal behavior and demand an end to their apartheid policies, should put out a call to boycott Equality Forum’s conference in May 2012.

More than anything right now, Israel fears “delegitimization,” especially in the eyes of Americans whose government finances the apartheid state to the tune of at least $3 billion every year. Yet Israel’s own actions delegitimize that state in the eyes of anyone with a whiff of social conscience.

It is up to activists — Jewish lesbians like myself, straight gentiles, everyone who cares about social justice — to stand up to Israel’s racist policies and those who help to veil them.

Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism, will be speaking on pinkwashing alongside Palestinian activists at the UPenn BDS conference Saturday, February 4, 2012. Wolf is available as a public speaker on Palestine, sexuality, socialism  and many other issues.

Israel: Losing Hearts and Minds

Opinion polls in the United States regarding Israel-Palestine are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they reflect the dominant narrative in the West that at turns defends and denies Israel’s racist policies toward Palestinians. On the other, they show disgust with the periodic mass killings of the virtually imprisoned Palestinians, punctuated in people’s minds by last year’s massacre of 9 humanitarian aid activists—murdered at sea in cold blood—their only weapons of defense: deck chairs and cucumber knives.

Two years ago, according to Zogby, 71 percent of Americans held a favorable opinion of Israelis; by March 2010, 65 percent did. A plurality, 40 percent versus 34 percent, believe Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories are wrong.

Even before the killings on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla and the recent uprisings across the Middle East that have popularly humanized Arabs as democracy- and freedom-seeking people, 84 percent believed the Palestinians deserved equal rights, 67 percent supported a Palestinian state.

When Israel bombed 1.5 million trapped Gazans on the eve of Obama’s 2009 inauguration, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians (almost all civilians; 13 Israelis died, 9 were soldiers), Americans winced. Forty-four percent supported the assault, versus 41 percent who opposed it, according to Rasmussen. Ordinary Democrats—unlike their party’s leadership—were appalled, only 31 percent could muster any support for it.

But, as always, polls don’t tell the whole story. These last months, the U.S. city with the greatest concentration of Jews and Arabs living side-by-side, New York, has been host to literally dozens of events where hundreds of people have turned out each time to learn about and advocate Palestine solidarity.

Whether listening to Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald exposing the legal myths about Israel, Professor Rashid Khalidi recounting the tales of Israel’s terrorist birth pangs or Omar Barghouti making an ironclad case for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of the apartheid state, crowds have been large and defenders of Israel have been cowed and mostly passive.

These rooms, it should be noted, are almost always at least half Jewish. Not surprising, as Peter Beinart’s excellent article exposed last year that:

For several decades, the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now, to their horror, they are finding that many young Jews have checked their Zionism instead.

Even the Zionist J Street poll shows 53 percent of American Jews are not at all bothered by open criticisms of Israel by other Jews.

Opinions have changed drastically. In the late 1980s, when I began speaking on Palestine in NYC, universities like NYU would insist on metal detectors at the door to deter kooks who called in death threats. Small clutches of students would attend meetings, but at least half the room would rise up in protest at any acknowledgment of the indisputable facts of Israel’s ethnic cleansing. Zionists marched through the room a couple of times waving the Israeli flag and singing their anthem, Hatikva, The Hope.

To be an anti-Zionist in the U.S. in those years, or simply a vocal critic of its policies, was to be among a tiny minority, usually made up of socialists.

Most Americans today remain profoundly confused about the history and politics of Israel-Palestine, but they are increasingly sympathetic to Palestinians’ demands and rights.

One clear example was seen these last two weeks. It’s Gay Pride month and in New York each of the city’s boroughs hosts its own parade, culminating in Manhattan’s megabash of hundreds of thousands of revelers marching toward the Stonewall Inn where the modern movement was born in a riot. For the first time ever, pro-Palestine contingents marched in the NYC parades in response to Israel’s attempt to sell itself as a gay paradise, known as “pinkwashing,” as well as the Manhattan LGBT Center’s ban on Palestine solidarity organizing.

Thousands of people cheered the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid contingent at both the Brooklyn and Queens Gay Pride parades over the past two weekends. Chants of “We’re here, we’re queer, and we support Palestine!” were met with fist pumps, nods and smiles of agreement and sympathetic curiosity.

This is expressive of a significant ideological shift taking place across the country. Apartheid Israel is, finally, losing hearts and minds in the nation that funds its power in return for political and military services no other Middle Eastern state can reliably supply.

That said, we should not equate Israel’s growing unpopularity in the States with either a shift in U.S. policy or a relaxation of the virulent attacks on critics of Israel. U.S. policy remains fiercely pro-Zionist and billions continue to flow, despite minor clashes over semantics when Obama recently uttered what amounts to a repetition of long-held policy positions.

The attempt to deny playwright Tony Kushner his honorary degree at CUNY—and the massive response that overturned that denial—provides a glimpse of battles to come.

Israel has only just begun to respond to the growing BDS movement and they are likely to ratchet up the rhetoric, lies and slanderous attacks on all of its critics. The pinkwashing campaign is only one part of a multimillion dollar effort to win back American progressives.

Our side will need to rise to the ideological and organizational challenges of a well-funded campaign that has U.S. government support, including a police state approach to spying on and interrupting constitutionally protected activities.

The best place for folks who want to prepare themselves for the Zionists’ inevitable attacks is at Socialism 2011: Revolution in the Air, July 1–4 in Chicago, where electronicintifada.net’s Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Glenn Greenwald and many others, myself included, will be taking on the myths of Zionism and helping to arm this new generation of solidarity activists with the knowledge and organizational wherewithal to take the next steps.